Gallery visits – Term2


About the Museum
For 75 years there have been tentative efforts to build a purpose-built museum for the Art Museum of Estonia (AME).  There have been several architectural competitions; in 1933 one of the competitors was Alvar Aalto, who took 3rd prize with his historical project, which was later built in Denmark. Due to World War II the museum was never built and AME had to wait another 50 years for the next opportunity.


In 1993–1994, an open international architectural competition was held, in which architects from ten countries (Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Germany and the USA) took part. The competition was organised by the government of the Republic of Estonia, the Art Museum of Estonia and the Estonian Union of Architects. The winner of the international architectural competition to design the building (1993–1994) was the Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori. In February 1999 a contract between the AME and Vapaavuori was signed, which launched practical activities for the building of the museum. Construction started in 2002. The Kumu Art Museum was opened to the visitors in February 2006.


The new museum site is located on four hectares in Tallinn, on the limestone bank of Lasnamägi next to Kadriorg Park. The office of the President of the Republic of Estonia and Kadriorg Palace, which is a part of the Art Museum, lie in the vicinity of the art museum. The building has seven floors, including technical floors, and the total area is 23 900 m². In 2004 the new museum got its name – Kumu – in an open competition.


The Kumu (KUnstiMUuseum) Art Museum is a modern multifunctional art building, which contains exhibition halls, a lecture hall offering diverse facilities, and an educational centre for young visitors and for art lovers.


Kumu is meant for different people – for those who are already well-versed in art and for those who simply wish to spend their time in a congenial environment. Kumu welcomes children and families and, most importantly, Kumu serves as a laboratory where diverse ideas emerge and develop. These ideas examine contemporary visual culture and its function in society.

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